Monday, March 19, 2012

Safe Motherhood Quilt Project

AHHHHHHH..... the sigh of relief as I sit here after completing my finals for Winter term and welcome the next 2 weeks of relaxation. Wait. Oh ya, no relaxation for me! I have a browser with 11 tabs open, most of which are midwifery related articles waiting to be read and filed, a few more are autism related articles waiting to be read and discussed with the old man about possible solutions to help with our 9 year old and I have a pile of work upstairs waiting to be organized so I can get to midwifery studies in a few days. 

The life of a midwifery student is exciting and exhausting but oh so rewarding. Especially when you open your computer to see one of the biggest inspirations to your calling being interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now.  Ina May Gaskin is a pioneer for American Midwives. She has made leaps and bounds in bringing awareness, advocacy and education to mothers for over 30 years. She makes so many articulate points in this interview and is so inspiring. 

One of the things she discusses in this interview is her Safe Motherhood Quilt Project described as, "The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project is a national effort developed to draw public attention to the current maternal death rates, as well as to the gross underreporting of maternal deaths in the United States, and to honor those women who have died of pregnancy-related causes since 1982." There is a list of facts as well as more info on how to get involved and spread the word on the website. Please visit it and learn about how we can prevent maternal mortality and improve the outcomes for many women and families in our country.

Some stats that are important to remember when thinking about maternal mortality rates are :

  • At least 30 other countries have lower maternal death rates than the U.S.
  • There has been no reduction in the maternal death rate in the U.S. since 1982.
  • The CDC acknowledges that we have a massive problem of underreporting of maternal deaths in the U.S. and that our reported rate may be only 1/3 to 1/2 of the actual total number.
  • Maternal death rates are four times as high in the African-American community as in the Caucasian community.
  • There is no federal requirement that the states carry out a confidential review of all maternal deaths in order to be sure that all are counted, to analyze the principle causes of preventable deaths and to make policy recommendations to prevent such deaths in the future. In most countries with lower maternal death rates than ours, maternal deaths are systematically reviewed and there are lower levels of underreporting of such deaths than the CDC says we have in the U.S.
Please visit http://www.rememberthemothers.org/ for more info!

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